Tackling worldwide issues

14th October 2005 at 01:00
DISCUSSING GLOBAL ISSUES: How do we make peace? Water - a right or a commodity? What is participation? A Healthy Diet? Who decides?

DISCUSSING GLOBAL ISSUES: What is Participation? can be downloaded at www.unicef.org.uktzresourcesdownload.asp

Each Global issue costs pound;5 including postage and packaging, but if you buy all four you get them for the reduced price of pound;15.

Tel: 0970 606 3377

If you want to make links with a school in another part of the world, these resource packs from Unicef will give you some ideas. Each contains a booklet with lesson ideas and a set of photo-cards illustrating individual cases from different parts of the world, including Burundi, Vietnam, Brazil, Bangladesh and Scotland.

The lesson ideas tend to focus on brainstorming sessions - Where are we in this picture? What do you think these people are doing? - and there is a lot of sticking ideas on Post-it Notes. We are in citizenship territory here, but geography, English, PSHE and history might want a look-in, too.

How do we Make Peace? reveals how, until recently, children of Khmer Rouge fighters in the jungles of Cambodia were banned from watching television and learned how to make booby traps for enemy soldiers alongside their spelling and maths and lessons. Now they get a more normal schooling. If any of your class think that sounds less fun, the pack is designed to help them think it through more carefully.

Water should do the same. What we get from a tap, Amatu from Ghana has to carry each day from a pump four kilometres away. School is 6km away and when she gets there she has to collect water, too.

What is Participation? concentrates on what children can do themselves to address issues. Margaret Gibney from Belfast wrote to Cherie Blair pointing out that she had only known one year of peace in her lifetime; her letter ended up being discussed by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

Bega from Brazil was born blind and had no future until a children's arts centre enabled him to develop as a musician. Now he is teaching other blind children.

One rather good exercise invites you to classify situations of children participating in the adult world. Parents demonstrating for more nursery places bring their children along with banners. Is this participation? Or manipulation? You decide.

A Healthy Diet? Who decides? draws on case-study material from Ethiopia, Tajikistan and has a UK case-study using information from a recent report on the health of UK children. Students learn about the importance of micro-nutrients and the political, economic, environmental and social causes of malnutrition.

Some children will find a lot of the wording difficult, and some of the conflict case studies need a much clearer context. I would have liked to see more use of everyday school examples such as bullying or name-calling, but the materials should allow children to draw their own conclusions.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today